How to get started?
Using Facebook as a tool to connect with your customers is a fantastic way to build your brand’s online presence. The first step for your business to start connecting with your customers through Facebook is by creating a Facebook page. This page will be where customers “can stay connected with your brand, read the latest news, participate in conversations, and share [your valuable] content with their friends” (Adams, 2017, para 1). Facebook pages act as your website on the Facebook social network. Your page allows your business to collect likes, asses insights about your page, and also create sponsored advertisements for your business through Facebook. Customers can interact with your page’s posts by liking and sharing your content both privately and publically.
Building your page
The first step in building your business’s page is to log in to your personal Facebook account. Users will not be able to see that your business page is associated with your personal account.
The next step is to find the create page button, this will redirect you to a page that allows you to select the type of business that you are. Each selection will give your page unique features designed for that type of business.
After the type of business is selected this will prompt you to fill in the industry information needed for customers to find you easier. You are then prompted to give a brief description of your business, add a profile picture, add your page to your favorites, and select your preferred audience for your page.
When setting up your page one of the quickest ways to grab a Facebook users attention is by using an effective profile photo and cover photo that represents your brand.
Facebooks platform is set up for photo and video sharing so use it! By creating albums from events that your business has hosted and attended it tells a story to Facebook users about your interactions. For a golf course creating a photo album for junior golf camps or a large tournament that you’ve recently hosted is a great way to give a visual story of the services you may offer.
Using Facebook as a tool to connect with your customers can be very effective, but did you know that it can also be used to sell products and services? By providing a call to action button on your Facebook page it can provide users with the ability to contact you, book appointments with you, use your app, shop your products, and learn more about your brand.
Using Facebook’s username feature is a great way to make your brand easier to find on Facebook. After creating a page facebook automatically assigns a long mix of letters and numbers as your username. This feature can be found in the about section of your page which you can now edit. If your company’s name has not been used previously in a @ username it is most effective to use that, my username and vanity URL can now both be found with @WardoGolf.
Building your audience
One of the easiest ways to start building your audience on Facebook is to use the invite friends feature. By doing this it will send a notification to those you select suggesting them to like your page. Facebook also provides a feature to share your page via posting and emailing.
Another great way to grow your page likes and reach is by adding a like button to your website. This will get likes for your page without users ever having to leave your website.
Facebook also provides the feature to pay to promote your Facebook page through sponsored content. This feature allows your ad to appear in your targeted audience’s newsfeed and to appear on their recommended pages. Facebook ads allow you to create ads on Facebook to promote your call to action, brand website, and Facebook page.
Making Facebook posts
In order to start posting content on your Facebook page, you will have to find the dialogue box stating “Write something…”.
After you have entered your text for your post you can now boost the visual appeal and reach of the post by tagging users and your own page, adding a photo or video, utilizing the smiley face icon allows you to add a feeling or what you are doing in your post, and a location to your post. Facebook also has a post targeting feature to narrow down the visibility of your posts to those that you want to see it.
As talk to about earlier adding photos and videos to your post is a great tool for immediately boosting the visual appeal of your post. One of the biggest reasons for adding visual content is “because Facebook posts with images see more than two times more engagement than those without images” (Adams, 2017, para 1). Using a photo carousel for sharing visual content is another great tool provided by Facebook. With this tool, you can have a selection of photos that leads customers to filter through them with the last picture being a call to action for your website.
Facebook also offers a pinning option for your top posts. This allows you to pin your most valuable posts to the top of your page and keeps users from having to scroll through all past posts posted after your most valuable.
Maintaining a Facebook page can be extremely time-consuming, this is why scheduling your posts is a fantastic way to stay engaged through Facebook. By creating content and post in down times you can have posts created and posted when you need them most.
Facebook posts also have the ability to be edited or even deleted at any point in time. Don’t worry about that autocorrect of auditioning the children to auctioning the children, it can be edited well before it gets out of control.
Some of the best practices discussed in Megan Adams’ video on Facebook for Business are:
- Be consistent: Plan ahead for your content you are putting out there, one of the most effective ways to do this is by creating a content calendar.
- Post timely content: Use holidays and other events to help boost the reach and timeliness of your posts.
- Target: Use Facebook’s targeting settings to control who is viewing your posts.
- Review performance: Test and review how your posts are being interacted with.
- Use high-quality photos: Choose rich colorful images, that immediately stand out to those scrolling through their news feeds.
- Keep your posts short and sweet: Try to make sure your posts are concise and get to the point quickly.
- Share exclusive content: By offering deals that are strictly for your Facebook audience it gives them a reason to stay engaged with your content and page.
- Include a call to action: Add links and headlines that inform users what you want them to do after viewing your post. These can be actions like a comment on this post, like this post, share this post, or visit my website.
- Be authentic: Keep your posts consistent and true to voice to remain authentic
- Be engaging: Ask for feedback from your audience and encourage them to ask a question and respond quickly
“Pages that follow these best practices will find their posts showing up in the news feed of their fans more regularly and creating more engagement” (Adams, 2017, para. 5).
Advanced Facebook page features
Facebook is a great way to share information about events your company is hosting in the future. Creating facebook events is very similar to creating a regular post on Facebook with the added features of invitations and giving your audience the ability to RSVP directly through Facebook. Each event will get its own page for those invited to interact in, this a great way to create a community of Facebook users specifically for a given event.
Companies can use Facebooks milestone feature to celebrate significant moments with their audience. This action is done through the create a post feature and is selected in the drop-down menu provided in the event, product, job button.
Using your Facebook pages ratings and reviews section is a great way to add social proof to your company. Use the tool to find more information about what your audience thinks you are doing well and what can be improved on.
Engaging your audience
There are a variety of methods to engage your audience with your posts. One of the most effective is your comments. Comments allow you to hear from your community and interact with them by replying back to them. Comments can be made on all of your posts if enabled and be extremely valuable to your brand in showing transparent communication. Facebook comments are also an area for spam to be posted so be sure to follow your post and comments to filter out spam by using the Facebook hide comment feature. If you find Facebook users that don’t mesh with the community you are creating you have the ability to ban users from interacting with your page through your Facebook page settings.
Using Facebook insights and reports
Facebook allows you to measure your success using the platform for your business by using Facebook Insights. The Insights feature allows you to look at key metrics such as likes, reach. page views, actions on page, posts and events success, and messages. Insights will be your number one tool for your business to measure its success.
Adams, M. (2017, May 28). Facebook for Business [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/Facebook-tutorials/Facebook-Business-2016/490656-2.html